CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087909 CMS


District Director of Customs
300 South Ferry St., Terminal Island
Room 2017
San Pedro, CA 90731

RE: Application For Further Review Of Protest No. 2704-89-001579; DC Motor Gear Box Assembly; Parts Of Automatic Data Processing Machines And Units Thereof; Thermal Transfer Printers; Gear Head; Gear Box; Shaft; Insulated Electrical Conductors

Dear Sir,

This protest was filed against your liquidation dated February 16, 1989, in which certain DC motor assemblies were classified in 8501.10.40, HTSUSA.


The merchandise was described on the relevant invoices as "DC Gear Head Motors". The protestant states that the motors were improperly described and that the proper description should be "DC Motor-Gear Box Assembly". The protestant states that the assemblies are imported for assembly into a thermal transfer printer of an automatic data processing machine, and that they should be classified as parts of data processing machines and units thereof in 8473.30.40, HTSUSA.

The motors are cylindrical in shape and are approximately 1 1/2" in diameter and 1 1/2" in length. An assembly of four gears approximately 1/2" in diameter enclosed by a metal ring the same diameter as the motor is connected to one end of the motor. A shaft and metal bracket extend from the gear assembly. Two insulated wires are connected to terminals on the other end of the motor.



Is the merchandise classified as electric motors in Heading 8501, or as parts of automatic data processing machine units in Heading 8473?


Heading 8501 describes electric motors and generators. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 8501, p. 1334, provide in part that "...the heading covers electric motors of all types from low power motors for use in instruments, clocks, time switches, sewing machines, toys, etc., up to large powerful motors for rolling mills, etc."

The Explanatory Notes also provide that Heading 8501 motors may be equipped with a variety of devices. For example, the Explanatory Notes, p. 1334, provide:

Motors remain classified here even when they are equipped with pulleys, with gears or gear boxes, or with a flexible shaft for operating hand tools.

The heading includes "outboard motors", for the propulsion of boats, in the form of a unit comprising an electric motor, shaft, propeller and a rudder.

Gears, gear boxes and shafts are specifically listed as devices with which electric motors may be equipped and still be classified in Heading 8501. Although insulated wires connected to the motor's terminals are not specifically named, they are similar to the other devices in that they are devices with which electric motors are commonly equipped. If Heading 8501 motors may be equipped with articles as substantial as gear boxes, shafts, propeller and rudders, then it logically follows that the motors may be equipped with two wires connected to the terminals of the motors.

In HQ 086832 (May 21, 1990), we found that spindle motors which consisted of a DC motor, spindle, mounting platform for the disk drive, and other components which aided the spindle's function, were classified as electric motors in Heading 8501. Although the spindle motors were precisely designed for use with automatic data processing machines, they were classified in Heading 8501 pursuant to Section XVI Note 2(a). Section XVI Note 2(a) provides that parts of machines which are included in a heading of Chapters 84 or 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings.


The articles under consideration are described by and included in Heading 8501. Notwithstanding the fact that they may be parts of thermal printers, they are classified pursuant to Section XVI Note 2(a) as electric motors in 8501.10.40, HTSUSA.


The merchandise was properly classified as electric motors in 8501.10.40, HTSUSA. The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division